706 Tasting Notes
Wow, another I didn’t review. Whoops. SimplyJenW sent this my way probably a year and a half or two years ago. This is a prime example of why I almost never do swaps, I never seem to get around to drinking the things I get in return. I have had most of this one though, so I’m not sure how I managed to miss reviewing it.
I am not much of an English breakfast drinker as they tend to be bitter assams and other bold teas I don’t drink a lot of. They are nice for a treat though, and I will add a bit of sugar or honey if necessary. This one got the kid gloves treatment of a 3 minute steep so it should be good on it’s own. I get a lot of malt in the aroma, and it has a smell that frequently translates into bitterness. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s easy to recognize.
First sips are a bit lighter than I expected, and with a surprising level of sweetness. This tastes more like Chinese blacks than Indian. Wait a minute, I’ve finally read the description. This is a Keemun? Win! I get some sweetness that is almost lightly floral, not much of a smoke note like I sometimes get. This is a nice keemun and extremely affordable. I don’t see why they don’t just label it as a Kemmun, but whatever works. :)
Another very old sample from my box of goodies from LiberTeas – thank you! This is one that made it to the bottom of the basket otherwise I would have drank it all down in the first place. I am not a huge fan of the old 52Teas base and I don’t really enjoy Earl Grey but I DO love cheesecake! I am thinking that the improper storage will have hurt this one though, I don’t get any earl or cheesecake aroma from the dry leaf. Everything in that basket of samples took on a weird aroma which I STILL haven’t identified but really don’t enjoy. Let this be a lesson to all of Steepster: store your samples properly and use them quickly!
Steeped, I get that funky smell (I think it was a mix of Pancake Breakfast and Buttered Popcorn, neither of which I really enjoyed) and a hit of something that puts me in mind of coconut. Bad sign. Da*n you Uniquity-from-the-past for your carelessness!
Unfortunately, the taste is about what I expected. Some astringency, no bergamot or cheesecake. I’ll just toss the rest of this and move on to something else. I bet it would have been wonderful if I had tried it a year ago, heh.
Well I am finally logging a note on this one. I have had it for ages and am not entirely positive that I ever tried it. It seems to be a roasted oolong which is a good start but a lot of the flavours are diminished, probably because I have had it for so long. I do get a note that I could call melon but I am not picking up on fig or any of the other ingredients. Not bad but I’ll be okay when it’s gone.
Okay. A coworker gave me some of this to try a month or two ago but I have been so afraid of it that I held off trying until today. I used a scant teaspoon in my perfect tea mug for 3 or 4 minutes and am rewarded with a golden amber brew that smells like a campfire. This is feeling a bit more like a punishment than a reward, but maybe I’ll like it.
Over the past few years I have come to enjoy and even embrace a light smoke note in tea. Note the word light. This is POW. This might have my coworkers wondering if the office is on fire. Oy. Initially, I get a sweet taste that morphs into smoked ham. Then I am left with a mouth full of ashtray. Hm. The ashtray thing isn’t actually as bad as it sounds, but it isn’t good either. I’m clinging to the sweetness of the tea under all the smoke as if it were a lifeboat. I can drink this, but I really don’t think I want to. I do really want some smoked ham now…
Well, after seeing so many posts from people ordering and loving Red Leaf Tea’s matcha, I decided to do some more experimentation with the flavours I have. I got the caramel and loved it, but the other three (strawberry, cheesecake and cookies and cream) have all tasted TERRIBLE to me. I don’t know what makes my taste buds so different but I just do not like RLT’s flavoured matcha.
Anyway, I took some of my (admittedly old) matchas and mixed them in cold water today. I went with cold to avoid potential bitterness as a lot of people have recommended it to me as an alternative to hot matcha. I used about 1/2 tsp of cheesecake as I found it to be very light and 1/4 tsp of strawberry as that is a roundhouse kick to the face.
I tried to build a froth but that doesn’t really work with old matcha and cold water so I gave in and started sipping. It smells like fake strawberry soap and bubble bath which is the issue I’ve had with strawberry all along. The taste is yummy for about 1.5 seconds and then it is all strawberry bubble bath. There is no way I am finishing this. I think the beau needs to use up the remains of our matchas and I need to accept that I just don’t like it. Ugh.
Trying this again today with much more leaf (the rest of my sample – 1.5, nearly two TSP). I am getting much more aroma during infusion than last time, likely because of the volume of leaf. I think this is overkill actually. It definitely wasn’t enough for two cups but too much for one. I just can’t win with this tea!
The liquor is deep brown and almost muddy – again a result of over-infusion. The aroma doesn’t yield any bitterness which is impressive. First sips are rich and slightly malty with no bitterness at all. This is very smooth but not yielding a variety of complex flavours like I expected. This is much better than my first try but still not a favourite. I don’t know why this one isn’t rocking my world like everyone else, but at least I gave it the old college try. Enjoying but not remarkable. Sipdown!
Here is another from the box o’teas from LiberTeas from way back when. This is one of the samples that had some smell contamination but as it is an unflavoured tea I don’t imagine it will be as much an issue as it was for the flavoured teas.
I actually don’t know anything about pouchongs, and was a little wary when I read that they are a mix of green tea and green oolongs. Those are my two least favourite kinds of tea, both prompting queasy stomache on occasion which leads me to stay away from them.
This is beautiful though, long twisted leaves that open up to be very full and have a very sweet smell without any of that vegetal aroma I dislike so much. The liquor is a golden yellow and smells almost of mild cinnamon sugar. The first sips echo these smells and are really quite nice. I get a sense of creaminess, and it is a very full flavour, much more than I expected by the aroma.
Despite my dislike of green tea and green oolongs, this is really nice. I am very impressed, and look forward to enjoying the rest of the sample. I’m not sure if this is an authentic tasting of this pouching, but man is it yummy. There is hope for me yet!
Edit to add: This is tasting note 600. Yippee!
I was re-steeping yesterdays leaves and forgot about them. For twenty minutes. While I am amazed that this tea can handle a twenty minute steep without becoming undrinkable tar, I am equally amazed that it STILL doesn’t have very much flavour! It’s only slightly more flavourful than yesterday and still doesn’t wow me. Perhaps it’s too subtle for my tastes, but I definitely am not picking up on any of the flavours that other tasters have mentioned. I am glad that I don’t get any sweet potato though as I can’t stand the things. Blech!
I’m positive I’ve had this tea before now but apparently I have yet to log it. It’s good timing as I am considering another Teavivre order and was really impressed with the regular Yun Nan Dian Hong but wondered if the next level up was superior enough to justify buying that instead. This one costs approximately three times the price of the regular dian hong, so I am hoping for a remarkable experience. This has a remarkable quantity of golden leaves, I wuld say it is at least 3/4 golden tips. Very beautiful, and left lots of little tea leaf fuzz in the bag.
I am at work so I steeped this in a T-Sac rather than a brew basket or gaiwan. There is lots of room in it for expansion though, so I’m not too fussed. Three minutes in I have a lovely golden orange liquor and an appetizing aroma. Sweet cocoa, a sense of astringency but it’s not fully developed. It smells rich and almost has some aromas that remind me of bread. I can’t quite explain those so I’ll just enjoy.
First sips yield sweetness but surprisingly little flavour. I expected a POW of cocoa and tea, instead I get a whisper of each. I had some carrots as a snack earlier and I actually taste them more than the tea. Maybe this one requires more steep time? As I continue to sip the flavour builds on the tongue, but still doesn’t reach the level I expect of Teavivre’s teas, especially at this price range ($18.90/100 grams).
I will be fair and admit that this is an old sample (give or take a year) so it may have lost flavour in storage but it was stored well, in a double sealed bag. I will definitely try again, but this just didn’t have the punch I was looking for. A very nice tea but not the flavour I expect for the price and the quality of the leaves. I feel a little let down, but at the same time am buoyed as I can guiltlessly pick up the cheaper Yun Nan in my next order!
Finishing up my sample, apparently I haven’t done a tasting note yet. Out of the bag the aroma is very sweet, far more than I would prefer. It almost has a licorice smell which is not appealing to me at all. I get sickenly sweet icing from the aroma rather than red velvet cake. With some trepidation I steeped it for about three minutes. The steeped aroma is nearly as sweet as the dry and not really my cup of tea. I would like to be pleasantly surprised by this one but my expectations are not very high.
The tea steeps up a dusty rose and smells of buttercream icing, rich and sweet. I don’t like icing at the best of timea so smelling it in my tea is actually bad news. First sips yield moee white chocolate than icing and for this I am grateful. It is still quite sweet bur not as much as the smell suggests. I can taste the bkack tea occasionally but it is easily overwhelmed by the additives. Much too sweet for my taastes but woukd be good for someone craving a strong dessert tea.